Cancer Registrar Job Description

Cancer Registrar Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a cancer registrar job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a cancer registrar. Feel free to use our cancer registrar job description template to produce your own cancer registrar job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a cancer registrar.


Who is a Cancer Registrar?

A Cancer Registrar specializes in the collection of cancer patient data; and the examination of the data. Cancer registrars collect data on cancer patients’ illnesses, medications, and medical history; they liaise with other medical specialists to work on cancer-related data for treatments and research purposes. After cancer registrars collect data, they send them to academics and medical specialists to conduct research, develop software to monitor health, and seek solutions to cancer or for other medical and educational purposes. They collaborate with this set of people to ensure compliance with industry standards and serve as a credible source for cancer-related information.


Cancer registrars get outsourced to various hospitals and cancer registries, which makes them sometimes work for organizations that are far from their residence. They make use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) to store patients’ information that including allergies, past illnesses, medications taken, and other health-related information. Saving sensitive files in digital forms has more advantages than paper-saving because in any form of physical accident such as fire; the files will not get damaged. It is ideal for people who save files in digital format to duplicate them for easy recovery when they get corrupted or disappear due to viruses or malware. The digital form has its disadvantages, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Cancer registrars need to be updated on industry news to gain a competitive advantage in the workplace. They need to have a solid relationship with the organizations they work with to help create a seamless system and improve data accuracy to achieve expected results. Another reason is so they can provide a relieving experience for patients. Cancer registrars are to emotionally support patients to boost their confidence and affection toward them and the health centers they work in. Customer service is a relevant skill in most careers, the health sector inclusive. They work with the quality department to make sure patient satisfaction is top-notch.

When cancer registrars add extra care and emotional support while treating patients, it hastens their recovery. There should be a patient feedback form in health centers; this will help point out their services that need improvement. They also maintain bed control and help patients with reimbursement requirements according to regulatory guidelines.

A cancer registry job requires regular involvement with a lot of data, so they need to learn data collection and entry. Cancer registrars may work in government agencies or private businesses that administer central cancer registries. Some work full-time, while others work at night or on weekends. Cancer registrars usually work in offices or cubicles that are well-lit and ventilated. They spend a significant amount of time at their workstations, computers, and on their phone.


Cancer Registrar Job Description

What is a cancer registrar job description? A cancer registrar job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a cancer registrar in an organization. Below are the cancer registrar job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a cancer registrar job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The cancer registry job has several responsibilities it entails. Job descriptions are what make up a job or career. Here are the duties that the cancer registry requires:

  • Prepare permanent files for patients, and ensure they are updated and secured.
  • Respond to queries and audits required from a cancer registry supervisor.
  • Validate patient information, complete documentation, and send to the state and national registries.
  • Get patients updated information from their doctors annually.
  • Draft and send written and graphical reports that medical practitioners and researchers require for diagnosis or research purposes.
  • Ensure compliance with medical ethics and guidelines in your country.
  • Present patient case reports that may include an assessment of treatment standards and staffing requirements.
  • Reach out to ex-patients and their parents to update them on any follow-up information.
  • Acquire knowledge in medical terminologies like anatomy, physiology, and more to identify, diagnose, and determine treatment.
  • Extract and document relevant information from the medical file and other software.
  • Determine and apply accurate reports for conducted processes, linked diseases, and adverse effects.
  • Examine the system and make recommendations for improvements to the situation finding, record keeping, and document creation mechanism.
  • Educate, train, and mentor others on data abstraction, case finding, and data entry into the registry.



Unlike some jobs that do not require a degree from a higher institution, you should have the knowledge and expertise to work as a cancer registrar. Here are the required qualifications:

  • Associate’s degree or equivalent in medical-related courses.
  • Have a Certified Tumor Registry credential to appear more professional and give you an edge in the labor market of the career
  • Experience working with databases.
  • Proficient in data collection, entry, and analysis.
  • Go for clinical training for at least a year to gain experience.
  • Possess the necessary soft and hard skills the job requires


Essential Skills

Every career has essential skills needed to stand out. In the cancer registry, here are the skills you should have:

  • Detail-oriented: They need to be detail-oriented because it helps ensure they record the accurate information they receive from medics. Cancer registrars have to guarantee that all data they record is authentic and drafted for registration to be effective. Paying attention to details in medical records is keen in a cancer registry career because a little overlooked information could be detrimental to the sick, from not taking note of an allergy or other avoidable potential issues. For example, if a cancer registrar gives medications meant to be for patient A to patient C, it can cause more Ill health, since they have different health histories. In some cases, it can even lead to death, so a cancer registrar has to be extremely careful when dealing with patients’ data.
  • Confidentiality: Being secretive and confidential is highly sought as a skill in this career. Human beings do not like their health issues exposed without their permission, so to succeed as a practitioner in the medical sector, you have to be very confidential with patients’ information. You will handle several data of many people, but you have to make sure none of it leaks out by the mouth or carelessness. That is to say, what goes on in the hospital stays in the hospital, but when you want to educate people on a scenario that happened in the hospital of a patient, you ensure you hide every information that will expose the patient.
  • Patient care: Health practitioners and non-professionals offer patients treatments and extra care; they include diagnosis, medications, and mental support. Cancer registrars initiate a patient follow-up program to improve patient/hospital relations as they also enhance department productivity. They also schedule tests and procedures for clinic patients. In this context, caring does not involve only medical aid; but also emotional support to patients. For example, if a cancer registrar has some free time, they can take a patient outside to take some air while listening to the patient talk about anything; this enforces trust and relief in a patient.
  • Data Collection: In the cancer registry, data collected are sent for analysis, research, or storage. Cancer registrars lend their thoughts in data collection and protocol trial-related matters, then follow standards while maintaining pharmaceutical databases.
  • Data analysis: Cancer registrars use computer programs to enter patient information into the health facility and national registries and communicate with other health care personnel; they also examine these data for research purposes. Some software they use to analyze data is Google spreadsheet, Tableau, Microsoft Excel, etc.
  • Presentation skills: Cancer registrars need to be great at presentation because they deal with graphs and statistics while analyzing data. Reports can be complex at times, so since they share their files with several teams, they should break down gathered data so the recipients can easily understand it. There are times they need to present their work at workshops, meetings, or training; excellent presentation skills will be a factor here.
  • Medical knowledge: Cancer registrars take courses that cut across some medical subjects related to the human body and cancer. They apply these medical skills in determining the likely cause of the ailment, the treatment to be given, and how best to document it. They do not need to be experts in these medical fields but should have a working knowledge of them.
  • Communication skills: In this field, they need communication skills to interact with patients, doctors, nurses, and colleagues. They use their communication skills to explain how medical records are collected and stored, then respond to concerns concerning the records. They use this skill to comfort patients and their families and also to explain medical jargon to them. In this context, communication involves both speaking and writing since there are situations they have to speak and write in their workplace.
  • Organizational skills: To excel as a career registrar, you need to be good at organizing because your work entails dealing with lots of sensitive files because you can not afford to make avoidable errors. You need to assemble and track files with patients’ information to avoid misplacement or mixing up of reports because it can lead to disastrous results. While being organized at work, you should comply with the job ethics when handling patient data.
  • Problem-solving skills: From compiling data to dealing with patients to attending training, you need to possess the problem-solving skill to navigate these things; and think critically to find solutions when stuck at some point or contact someone with better knowledge of the situation.
  • Time management: Working in the medical sector can often keep you on your toes because emergencies can spring up. It could be your manager requesting important files, attending to patients, sourcing for data, etc. You should be sharp and know how to use your time effectively to meet expectations and reach your goals.


How to Become a Cancer Registrar

In the past, cancer registrars get trained while working on the job. However, now, they need to get educated in tertiary institutions before getting the role.

When deciding on a cancer registry route, it is crucial to think of your particular goals and interests, but there are some fundamental principles to follow. Every country has different paths and requirements to become a cancer registrar. Here is a breakdown of common routes to follow:

  1. Educational route: Graduate from high school, then acquire an associate degree in health-related courses such as public health, human anatomy, human physiology, cancer registry management, data analysis, etc. You can further your studies by acquiring a master’s or Ph.D. in cancer-related courses.
  2. Go for Clinical Training to gain experience. While taking the training, you can learn more about databases and analysis because you work a lot with data, as it is one of the duties of a cancer registrar.
  3. Get more training, mentoring sessions, and networking opportunities. To pick an organization that suits your career journey, look into local, state, and national cancer registry associations. Networking with people can enable you to meet experts in the industry, which can open doors for you and give you access to employment opportunities.
  4. Acquire the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) because its certification is highly recognized in many countries and requires the certificate to consider you for a career registry role. The CTR certificate verifies that a person has the necessary knowledge and skills to work in a cancer registry.
  5. Draft your resume and apply for cancer registrar job vacancies in your area, create a CV and tailor it to your specific needs. Use your CTR accreditation to illustrate your current industry knowledge in your CV, which may entice a hiring manager to contact you for an interview.
  6. Ensure to renew your CTR certificate every two years: To renew your CTR certification, you must complete at least 20 hours of continuing education every two years; attend workshops, training, and other networking and educational opportunities hosted by the cancer registry organizations.


Where to Work as a Cancer Registrar

  • Hospitals
  • State and federal cancer registries
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Cancer registry software companies
  • Self-employed
  • Clinics
  • Consultancy firms


Cancer Registrar Salary Scale

Various factors determine the salary in a cancer registry role. For a start, in addition, to education and clinical training, you may earn $57,235. Mid-level cancer registrars may earn $67,155 or more. Directors may be paid as high as $83,322-$87,655.

Cancer registrars with CTR earn like 20% higher than those without the certification.

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